Throughout high school, I worked a part-time job, took care of my siblings, and tried to achieve the best grades possible. As I struggled through these troubled times, I seldom thought about college. I just wanted to be the first in my family to graduate from high school. However, Mr. Jones, my tenth grade biology teacher, encouraged me to consider going to college. As I began my senior year, he called me into his office to make me aware of the application process not only for colleges but also the various scholarship offers and grants available to me. Because of his efforts, I will be stepping onto the campus of Old Dominion University in August 2012 after winning a scholarship. Because my scholarship does not provide spending money and I must maintain a grade point average of 3.2, my path over the next few months will be a balancing act as I work to save money for spending, study to make certain I am ready for classes, and spend as much time as possible with my family before I leave home.
Working is nothing new to me. I have had some type of a part-time job since I was fourteen years old. I spent many summer days harvesting crops at my grandfather's farm. The work was hard, but I learned the importance of staying focused on the task at hand. Failure to do so could have resulted in a serious injury, as farm machinery is not forgiving. These experiences with "Pap" enabled me to learn a great deal about the farming process and the selling of produce to local restaurants. I can see now just how he groomed me for the work I will do over the next few months.
I have a route that services twenty-five restaurants within a radius of 50 miles from Pap's place. I will be making two runs per week to service these establishments. The good news for me is that I have access to the Internet and can fill orders prior to each run. As a result, I simply need to carry with me the requested produce. Poor Pap never had such an opportunity. Forty years ago, he just filled the truck and hauled the "farm," just hoping to sell what he had. Needless to say there was spoilage and money lost. Because of refrigeration and the Internet, I will take only what I need; little will be lost to spoilage. Pap is allowing me to keep all profits from these routes this summer.
I am not necessarily the smartest student in the state, but I was able to graduate from high school with honors. Over the course of those four years, I learned to manage my time wisely so that I was able to study yet still care for my siblings until my parents came home from work. Many nights I had to make dinner and help the twins with their homework before I was able to begin my own studies. Fortunately for me, the twins will be gone for the summer. I will not have to look after them. However, the lessons I've learned in doing so will guide me through my efforts as I prepare for college. I will have my books with me on my routes. In the event there is down time, I will be able to study. I plan on studying during my lunch hour each day. Of course there will be a few hours at night when I can also study. I will be laying out a schedule, as I learned a few years ago that having a plan makes for a better study session. I also learned to focus on my least favorite subjects first. Yes, I will be working on literature; I despise talking about the works of all the great dead people. William S. was never one of my favorite folks, but I did learn a great deal about the English language as we studied his works.
I know that work and studies will keep me busy this summer, but I will most definitely find time to spend with my family. I know my absence will leave a void in the weekly routine at home. Luckily, the twins are older now, and they should be able to take care of themselves after school. I just hope they do not burn the house down while trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Over the last four years, I have formed a bond with both of them. We are close, and I do hope that my being over two hundred miles from home will not dampen their spirits. I certainly appreciate the times I have had with them.
Although I have not had a great deal of time to spend with my mother and father, I know that they both want the best for me. Just graduating from high school was an accomplishment that they were un able to achieve. When they found out that I had the chance to go to college due to a scholarship, they were overjoyed. Obviously, I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can; since the twins will not be home, I think there will be a bit more "me" time with my mother and father. Pap, well I'll see him every day.
These next few months will be busy for me, and there is a great deal that I need to get done before I leave for Norfolk. The key to success will be for me to balance my time and obligations so that I can be successful with business, brush up on my known areas of academic weakness, and ensure I have quality time with family.